SAN FRANCISCO : Tesla CEO Elon Musk has responded to environmental concerns including excessive water use for building the massive 'Gigafactory 4' near Berlin to produce electric cars for the European market, saying that such concerns were baseless.

The leading non-profit organization BUND (Friends of the Earth Germany) met Tesla officials last week to discuss possible environmental pollution from the planned Gigafactory.

"Sounds like we need to clear up a few things! Tesla won't use this much net water on a daily basis. It's possibly a rare peak usage case, but not an everyday event," tweeted Musk.

"Also, this is not a natural forest a" it was planted for use as cardboard & only a small part will be used for GF4," he added.

The site where the Gigafactory will be built has invited protests over concerns that the facility will excessively use water and cause deforestation by destroying 300 hectares of forest.

"Giga Berlin will build sustainable energy vehicles using sustainable energy, so net environmental impact will be extremely positive!" Musk said.

After Shanghai in China, Musk selected Berlin as Tesla's next gigafactory outside the US where the company is planning to invest 4 billion euros ($4.4 billion) and produce 150,000 cars a year.

The Berlin unit will manufacture SUV Model Y, which could go into production by 2021. The unit could initially employ 3,000 people. The headcount could rise to 7,000.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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